Rous­ing the cen­sor dragon

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News - By Don­ald Clarke

Two in­ter­est­ing sto­ries re­lat­ing to the po­ten­tial sup­pres­sion of prom­i­nent films have re­cently sur­faced. In Tu­nisia, a TV sta­tion is fac­ing pros­e­cu­tion for screen­ing Mar­jane Sa­trapi and Vin­cent Paron­naud’s hugely es­teemed an­i­ma­tion Perse­po­lis. The trial for “in­sult­ing sa­cred val­ues” re­sumed last week, only to be rapidly post­poned. The broad­cast on the Nessma TV sta­tion pro­voked sig­nif­i­cant protests last year.

Na­bil Karoui, the sta­tion’s di­rec­tor, com­mented: “I am sorry to be here to­day. This is a po­lit­i­cal trial. It is the trial of 10 mil­lion Tu­nisians who dreamed of hav­ing a demo­cratic coun­try.”

The trial is shap­ing up into a mea­sure of the new Tu­nisian regime’s com­mit­ment to open­ness. Fol­low­ing the fire­bomb­ing of Karoui’s house, Prime Min­is­ter Ha­madi Je­bali said: “There is no free­dom of the press with­out re­spect for the phys­i­cal in­tegrity of jour­nal­ists, what­ever the dif­fer­ences of opin­ion.”

Mean­while, David Fincher has taken the high road fol­low­ing de­mands from In­dia’s Cen­tral Board of Film Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that he cut some of the more sex­u­ally ex­plicit se­quences from The Girl with the Dragon Tat­too. The di­rec­tor has cho­sen to with­draw the film rather than make the cuts.

“Sony Pic­tures will not be re­leas­ing The Girl with the Dragon Tat­too in In­dia,” the dis­trib­u­tor an­nounced. “The cen­sor board has judged the film un­suit­able for public viewing in its un­al­tered form and, while we are com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing and pro­tect­ing the vi­sion of the di­rec­tor, we will, as al­ways, re­spect the guide­lines set by the board.”

‘Sa­cred val­ues’ un­der at­tack in Tu­nisia: Perse­po­lis

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